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October 20, 2021

Brian Snitker

Los Angeles, California, USA

Dodger Stadium

Atlanta Braves

Postgame 4 Press Conference

Atlanta Braves - 9, Los Angeles Dodgers - 2

Q. When you mapped out the bullpen game did this go like you thought, better than you thought?

BRIAN SNITKER: Probably a little better. I think what Drew did was awesome, just stretching like he did. Honestly, I didn't expect him to stay in that game that long.

But, I mean, he was throwing good, situations were right, his stuff was crisp. But I tell you, honestly, in the beginning I thought three's great, two would be really good, and the biggest part too was Minter, the two innings he got for us was huge for us.

Q. What can you say about Eddie Rosario tonight?

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, Eddie's been in the moment here. I tell you what, he's liked this postseason play, that's for sure. Good for him. I mean, he's, really just great at-bats. I looked up and I told Walt, he's a double away from the cycle again and then he hit a homer, so that's better. So, no, he's had a really good postseason.

Q. The Dodgers have won I think six straight elimination games going back to last year and you've been in this game a long time. What makes the closeout situation just so hard?

BRIAN SNITKER: It is hard. I mean, as we saw last year, winning a game is hard, especially a veteran team like this that we're playing. And number one, it's hard to win here, number two, it's hard to win a major league game, but I feel good about our club just from what we experienced last year and where these guys are.

Q. You guys since the trade deadline have the third best record in the majors behind only the Dodgers and the Giants. Eddie Rosario tonight also was huge, but how did all these additions just transform you guys both in the clubhouse as well as on the field?

BRIAN SNITKER: No, in all aspects. Like I say, it started with Joc when Ronnie went down that Alex went out and got him and showed these guys that we're not going to sit and hang our heads. We're going to go for this thing.

And then at the trade deadline we got three major league outfielders, every day guys. Now we got four of them. And I got to figure out how to make that work. And Rodriguez too. I mean, we had, Alex did an unbelievable job for our club and showed those guys that, you know what, we're in this thing, we're real and they all fit in. That's the thing. Every one of those guys came in and assimilated into our clubhouse and our team just effortlessly. Unbelievable how they bought into everything we were doing, the personalities and all that, it was awesome. Credit to all those players.

Q. How good do you feel about your offense after Freddie had a couple of bad games, for him, and then comes alive these last two and now Adam Duvall is going again?

BRIAN SNITKER: No, it's good. It's good. We have a good offensive team. And like I say, Freddie's thing was a little blip only the radar, I think. We all knew eventually -- you don't keep an elite player down for an extended period. All these, we've been a pretty good offensive team all year and I'm really proud of the guys how there's a lot of talk about the game last night, it was a tough loss, it was, and how they turned the page, they turned the page.

Q. How much more stressful is it to manage a bullpen game and what is that satisfaction when it's over?

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, no, these, a major league game is stressful, I mean, if you got Charlie Morton or a bullpen game. We sat down before the game and kind of looked at pockets and how we were going to use guys, and like I say, all that sounds good at 4:30, and then at 6:30 and 7:00 it's a totally different animal.

But we do prepare for it and so we had a pretty good idea what we were going to do going forward and I think that served us well today. And it's tough, but that's the one time that you kind of game plan and all and it's kind of for real, you know, it's not waiting on the starter. It's we're going to do this with these guys. I mean, it's pretty much a given that what you're going to do.

Q. Coming out of that now you didn't have to use Luke Jackson tonight. You used Matzek, but you use him every day so I don't know how much that matters.

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, probably use him tomorrow.

Q. Well, that's kind of my question is how do you feel about the bullpen --

BRIAN SNITKER: We're good. We're good. It was good to get Will out there. I was glad he got an inning today. Luke's good to go. So you got to mix, match, scramble just because of the time of year it is. And you talk about Matzek. I thought he was probably as effective and as sharp tonight as he has been the whole postseason. He keeps telling us that. The more I pitch the better I feel and the better I'll be.

Q. You hit three home runs tonight off a pitcher who hadn't given up three home runs in a game in five years. Are you ever constantly amazed by the unpredictability of baseball and also all the ways that your team finds to win?

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah. No, I mean, you're right. I'm never -- you never see everything. That's kind of what keeps us coming back, I think, because this is an unbelievable game and you've never seen it all, you never figure it out. That's the one thing. You never figure this game out. And, yeah, it's not something that you go in looking to do and when it happens it's, you know, I think more when it's over you look back and it's like, wow, that just really happened.

So I never doubt players. They're capable of something you've never thought possible whenever you're not even thinking about it.

Q. Could you talk about, over the years the pitching has been so great, but the offense this year's just really strong. I mean, just what's that like having an offense when you know you can score?

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, I mean, and that offense got really good at the trade deadline. I think that helped booster this offense unbelievable, because all those guys came in and did probably exactly what we hoped and more. So, yeah, it's obviously, it's a really nice thing to have. And, yeah, I don't know how to explain it. I just know that the additions, I keep going back to that, the additions were huge for us in our club, lengthening our lineup and making it really good.

Q. Smyly had that rough start here. He's taken, he's put in the bullpen, he gave you some innings there, and then for him to have a moment like tonight, what can you say about the way he's handled it?

BRIAN SNITKER: No, I admire him so much and the professionalism and how he stays ready. He's always ready to go. He's been through a lot. He's been a big part. I mean, he's won a lot of games for us, we won a lot of games that he started, and then we shied away from him and he just keeps working. It's like he'll do anything, like I say, he's a true professional to handle the situation like he has and to perform like he has. I got a lot of admiration for that man.

Q. How pivotal -- I know it was early, was Duvall's catch in the second to keep the scoreless, keep momentum on your side and then you go in the third inning and score two more?

BRIAN SNITKER: No, it's good. Those catches like that are huge any time in a game because it's something if he doesn't get it, it's a homer, rattles around, I mean, just kind of can continue an inning. So that was a great play.

Q. Beyond all the roster changes and stuff that you've had this year, is there any intangible difference in this year's team right now than maybe a year ago?

BRIAN SNITKER: No. We're a different team. We were really good last year. I think the difference is our starting pitching is more solidified this year. Our bullpen guys, like I keep saying, those guys have, I mean, all they do is answer the phone and get ready. And I ride them. I told them all they got saddle cinches on their sides because I have tightened that thing so hard riding them. They have done a great job.

So the core group and the makeup of all this club is right on par from what we've had. I mean, it's cool, and I think the core group of our guys make it easy for guys to come in and be a part of this. It is, it's a great group of guys, just I respect each and everyone of them just so much.

Q. Dansby said the other day he sensed like an, almost like a greater belief for a lack of satisfaction, a situation this year with getting to the playoffs and winning a round, I'm just wondering as a manager whether you sense any of that, that it seems different this year at all?

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, no, we're more mature. Like I said earlier, I think we're a more mature team. We got a bunch of young guys that have been through these wars before and now they're through them again and I think that bodes well for us. I think the experiences they have had over the last three years in getting to this position has really matured this club and the expectation and the fact that you know what we can do this. I believe all that.

Q. I believe Soler's minimum 10-day stay on the COVID-19 list ends tomorrow. Is there anything you can share about his possible return?

BRIAN SNITKER: No, not really. I mean, I'll probably, when I got up tomorrow, I'll get a call or whatever and see what everything's going on, but I honestly don't, that's all MLB protocols and everything. Like say, when I see him in the clubhouse, that will be awesome. So I don't know when that's going to be.

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